Tallan Ames may be many things, but the most effective ball user in the WAFL?

The Swan Districts full-back is renowned for his significant defensive impact and his ability to spoil the ball in marking contests is probably his greatest strength.

He returns to the Swans team tomorrow, three weeks after breaking ribs and puncturing a lung in the State match in Sydney.

His presence will be critical against a star-studded Peel team that is 1-8 and last but threatening an upset at home.

A Champion Data analysis of the first half of the season reveals Ames is not only a hard man to beat in a contest but the league's most efficient player when he has the ball in his hands.

The WAFL's official statistics recorder found nearly nine in 10 of Ames' kicks and handballs went directly to a teammate.

Ames has had 100 disposals in his eight matches this season with 89 of them being delivered to a black and white guernsey.

Given Ames' backline coll-eagues Alex Howard (81 per cent), Graham Jetta (80.7), Justin Simpson (78.3) and Kirk Ugle (74.5) are also at the highest levels of WAFL efficiency, it is not difficult to find a reason Swans have been in the top two positions on the ladder for the past six rounds.

Swans coach Greg Harding was not surprised his players ranked so highly.

"Ames, Ugle and Simmo are left-footers and for some reason lefties always seem to have a bit more time," he said.

"And we have always rated Simpson, Howard and Ugle as great decision makers.

"I've always had a massive opinion of Howard's feet.

"We get a bit of a giggle that Amesy is the most efficient player in the league but there are also some pretty good reasons for that.

"He is a player who always plays to his limitations, he knows his capabilities and rarely tries to do anything outside his range.

"He has got better at that in just about every season he has played."

Defenders invariably return more effective figures than midfielders and forwards because they operate with more space and have more uncontested possessions.

That trait is reflected in the data which put South Fremantle's defensive trio Steven Verrier, Dylan Ross and Nick Borovac, East Fremantle's Matthew Jupp and East Perth's Blayne Wilson amongst the six most effective players in the competition.

Swans revelation Blaine Boekhorst (77.2 per cent), South Fremantle ball magnet Haiden Schloithe (76.3), Claremont's Sandover medallist Luke Blackwell (76.2) and East Perth on-baller Stephen Payne (76.2) are the most effective midfielders.

West Perth centreman Shane Nelson is the WAFL's most prolific stoppage player with 79 clearances - two more than Blackwell - but it is indicative of his crowded work space that his league-high 295 disposals were delivered at just 61.7 per cent efficiency.

DID YOU KNOW? 89 The number of effective disposals Swan Districts full-back Tallan Ames has had this season

The West Australian

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